The East Aurora, Illinois School Board did an admirable thing this week when it unanimously passed a policy affirming transgender students by recognizing their identities. The Illinois Family Institute provided its unsurprising and unwelcome rebuke, calling trans students “disordered” and “perverse,” and it seems the hate group’s response may have stuck. Yesterday, the Board announced it will hold a “special meeting” on Friday to “review,” and possibly rescind, the policy. According to Board President Annette Johnson, the Board assumed the policy was a recommendation from the the Illinois State Board of Education, as opposed to a progressive policy brought forth from a Board member:
JOHNSON: The board never at any time came up with this (policy) on their own… It’s something we (board members) would not have questioned in light of the attorney and the administrators bringing it forward. [...] This was just a policy the board felt they needed to keep up-to-date with.
We usually follow (the Illinois Sate Board of Education) and their recommendations. All of us thought, “Oh jeez, this is another bullying policy we should comply with.” [...] Administrators are constantly bringing policy forward. [...] We will wait on the ISBE to come up with any policy (regarding transgender students).
In other words, it sounded like a good idea until Board members started hearing from people who oppose it. Rather than stand by their principles, they may choose not to be leaders for trans-inclusiveness and instead cave to the nasty anti-trans propaganda being fomented by groups like the IFI.
It also seems, however, that the Board was not fully aware of what they were even passing. A reader at FriendlyAtheist.com emailed the Board members thanking them for their voted and received a response from board member Raymond Hull expressing his regret:
HULL: I do not support the LGBT. I slept on the truth; shame on me
It’s astonishing that basic affirmation for people’s identities is still cause for controversy, let alone that a school board would cater to a hate group’s smear tactics rather than take a leadership role to support its students.